The Detroit Red Wings have come to terms on a two-year contract with restricted free agent forward Gustav Nyquist, the team announced on Tuesday morning. The agreement will pay Nyquist a total of $1.9 million, which will amount to an average annual value of $950,000 against the salary cap, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
The 23-year-old forward has played in 40 career regular season games registering 13 points (four goals and nine assists). In 2013, he contributed six points (three goals, three assists) in 22 regular season games and went onto produce five points (two goals, three assists) in 14 playoff games, which saw Detroit fall one game shy of the Western Conference Final.
Prior to the signing, the Red Wings had 15 forwards under contract and $312,121 in cap space, according to CapGeek.com. The Red Wings surplus at forward has led to speculation about the team's interest in trading from that depth, which manager Ken Holland confirmed on record. Reports have indicated that Cody Emmerton and Jordin Tootoo are two players that could be on the move.
The only issue that has come of Holland's trade pursuits is that the market is apparently slim. This isn't surprising given the declining salary cap in 2013-14. Considering the new stipulation in the collective bargaining agreement that allows teams to take on salary, Holland might explore this option to ease the strain on his cap, via Winging it in Motown:
The Red Wings could waive their lowest-paid player in Cory Emmerton and then would only need to clear a little over $100K in cap space with their next roster move. This gives GM Ken Holland flexibility to explore some trades which involve the team retaining up to 50% of a player's cap hit in a move.